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The Lobby => Introductions => Topic started by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 04:42:08 PM

Title: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 04:42:08 PM
Peace and goodwill brothers and sisters!

In the kindest possible way I was just hoping I could come here and explain the Catholic Church's stance on things and what and why the Church teaches such and such.  There is a huge misconception about Catholicism.  one of those misconceptions for instance is that Catholics are allowed to commit idolatry by worshiping angels and saints and statues and the church permits sorcery and allows a culture paganism and occult practices and necromancy

 That is false along with many other fundamentalist attacks.  I simply want to state what the Church teaches and why and a little on church history perhaps.  I'm not here to say I'm right or you are wrong or I have the truth and you don't.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother in Christ,
Joseph
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: DunkleSeele on July 19, 2014, 04:47:50 PM
I'm a former Catholic, borne and raised in the most Catholic country in the world.

I don't give a flying French coitus about certain details. The Catholic church is one of, if not the most corrupted and disgusting organisations in the world. Its history and present of oppression, violence and bigotry in the name of a fictional, disgusting monster you believers call god is revolting.

No, I for one don't want to hear or read such drivel.

Oh, and I'm NOT your "Brother in Crust".
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Poison Tree on July 19, 2014, 04:50:12 PM
Why didn't god warn the pope about all the sexual abuse by priests?
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 04:53:41 PM
Not sure. I'm also not sure why God didn't warn King David to not commit adultery and murder of his right hand man which caused him and his whole family and his whole kingdom to suffer greatly.

 The human race is corrupt and that would apply to every priest and bishop and nun as well.

are you from Poland or the Philippines staff member?
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: DunkleSeele on July 19, 2014, 04:57:09 PM
"Staff member" has a name (hint: it's above the "staff" icon, just like yours is above the "primordial ooze" one).

No, I'm from the country from which a piece of land was stolen and given to your corrupt figureheads to create that banana state the flag of which you so proudly display.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on July 19, 2014, 05:00:17 PM
Oh yeah, the catholic church is wonderful until you actually need them for anything.. Check that. They're not wonderful at all.
My grandmother gave thousands of dollars to that bunch of theives till she needed their help for the first time in her life then suddenly they couldn't afford to help her with anything in her old age.

That same church demanded my parents sleep in separate beds and live as brother and sister when my mom had a miscarriage. Mom threw the priest out of our house and told him don't come back.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: aitm on July 19, 2014, 05:02:08 PM
Brother, there is not a single thing you can tell us that four or twenty of us don't already know, have discussed in depth and/or have lived through. 95% of us were former religious sheep of various cloths.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Moralnihilist on July 19, 2014, 05:21:12 PM
Peace and goodwill brothers and sisters!

In the kindest possible way I was just hoping I could come here and explain the Catholic Church's stance on things and what and why the Church teaches such and such.  There is a huge misconception about Catholicism.  one of those misconceptions for instance is that Catholics are allowed to commit idolatry by worshiping angels and saints and statues and the church permits sorcery and allows a culture paganism and occult practices and necromancy

 That is false along with many other fundamentalist attacks.  I simply want to state what the Church teaches and why and a little on church history perhaps.  I'm not here to say I'm right or you are wrong or I have the truth and you don't.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother in Christ,
Joseph

1. Im not now nor will I ever be your brother.
2. What makes you think that I, or anyone else here, am interested in anything to do with the catholic church?
3. What makes you thing that you know anything more than any member on this forum about all things catholic?
4a. If you intend to "teach" history, do keep in mind that there are members on this forum who possess PhD's(me) in history and are of no need of your "education".
4b. If you intend to try to pass off some bullshit as historical fact, expect to have your bullshit called by none other than me(the guy with the PhD).
5. Again I am not your brother, and to date christ has yet to be shown to have actually existed.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Hijiri Byakuren on July 19, 2014, 05:28:21 PM
Peace and goodwill brothers and sisters!
Fuck off.

In the kindest possible way I was just hoping I could come here and explain the Catholic Church's stance on things and what and why the Church teaches such and such.
I don't give a damn about your teachings. Prove that your god exists.

There is a huge misconception about Catholicism.
The fact that it is one of a large number of belief systems that is completely full of shit is hardly a misconception.

That is false along with many other fundamentalist attacks.
I don't give one singular shit about your disagreements with other Christians. You are all equally without evidencial support.

I'm not here to say I'm right or you are wrong or I have the truth and you don't.
Yes you are.

Have a blessed day!
Fuck off.

Your brother in Christ,
(http://i.imgur.com/31dUSoA.gif)
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 05:32:28 PM
sorry but the majority of people I talk to have misconceptions about what the Church teaches.  or maybe somebody here can learn something.

I'm not trying to prove that I'm right and you're wrong.  I hope I clarified that.  I will only start one thread  that has anything to do with the Catholic Church after this one and it's going to be called "ask a Catholic " for those who have any questions.

by the way,Italy Is not the most Catholic country in the world, a small minority of the population  goes to Mass on Sundays.

Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 05:35:27 PM
Fuck off.
I don't give a damn about your teachings. Prove that your god exists.
The fact that it is one of a large number of belief systems that is completely full of shit is hardly a misconception.
I don't give one singular shit about your disagreements with other Christians. You are all equally without evidencial support.
Yes you are.
Fuck off.
(http://i.imgur.com/31dUSoA.gif)
I didn't come here to sling insults at people or have an insult contest.  Are you trolling?
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: DunkleSeele on July 19, 2014, 05:39:09 PM
Italy is where the heads of the Catholic mafia reside.
Italy is the country where on Saturday and Sunday several religious programs (including the so-called "Angelus" officiated by the pope himself) are broadcasted on national TV at the expense of ALL taxpayers.
Italy is the country where, when a pope dies, all national TV channels cancel all their programs and start broadcasting only programs about the deceased criminal and all the rituals going on in the Vatican to elect the new mafia boss.

You clearly don't know anything about Italy.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: DunkleSeele on July 19, 2014, 05:40:36 PM
I didn't come here to sling insults at people or have an insult contest.  Are you trolling?
Coming here to "teach" us about the cathothug doctrine IS an insult.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 05:48:36 PM
I was speaking of practicing Catholics meaning those who are faithful to daily Mass and holy days of obligation and faithful to and believe in the teachings of the Church Magisterium. They make up a small minority of Italians. And the Vatican state is a separate country.   It is not Italy.

there are Catholic countries out there where the Catholic population , practicing Catholics that is , are such a strong presence that abortion cannot even be legalized in the country. Italy is not one of those countries.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 05:50:48 PM
I'm not saying Italy isn't one of the most Catholic countries in the world I'm just sayin that is not THE most.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: GrinningYMIR on July 19, 2014, 05:56:11 PM
Are my brother via parentage? No
Are you my brother in arms? No
Are you my brother in my struggle to achieve the goals set ahead of us? No

You are not my brother.

I was born Episcopalian, I am an atheist, because I don't believe in your God, I believe in stuff I can see and feel, stuff that's inherently within people.

Not your book


You should not have come here to convert or persuade us, because many of us are bitter towards religion in general, not even counting those who have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church. 

You'll have to pardon my disinterest in buying indulgences, but I'd rather walk out of my house and be my own man, than follow the "strong moral and ethical, except when it serves out purposes to behave otherwise" code that the Catholic church spouts at us.

Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: DunkleSeele on July 19, 2014, 05:56:36 PM
The examples I gave you above apply to Italy not Vatican. ITALY. And the Vatican is a joke state. They even always used the Italian currency (before the Euro). I long for the day when that territory will return to its legitimate owner: Italy.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Hijiri Byakuren on July 19, 2014, 05:57:50 PM
I didn't come here to sling insults at people or have an insult contest.
You came here to proselytize. You're fair game.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on July 19, 2014, 05:58:12 PM
You're not scoring 'godpoints' here. If you want a crusade I suggest forming a literal army and take your chances like the last crusade.
I'm not going to engage in name calling with you, but there are a good number of people here with more knowledge of church doctrine than you think and it's very unlikely you'll persuade anyone of anything here. You stand a better chance of getting kicked out.
Stating your beliefs is fine, but it's belief and nothing more unless you have a magic 2000 year old corpse hidden in your basement.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Green Bottle on July 19, 2014, 05:59:08 PM
I'm not saying Italy isn't one of the most Catholic countries in the world I'm just sayin that is not THE most.

To be honest id say there's nobody on here who really gives a flying fuck............

(http://i61.tinypic.com/rc822f.jpg)
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Shiranu on July 19, 2014, 06:56:43 PM
The examples I gave you above apply to Italy not Vatican. ITALY. And the Vatican is a joke state. They even always used the Italian currency (before the Euro). I long for the day when that territory will return to its legitimate owner: Italy.

Yeah... I understand why it was separated (at the time, the support of the Catholic church went ALONG way towards getting the Italian people to become unified)... but there is no need for it to be separate anymore.

But then there is also the City of London, which I believe is even older and still it's separate territory... so who knows...
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: JohnD on July 19, 2014, 07:31:06 PM
Welcome Catholic Crusader, let us help deliver you from your religious Matrix. No pills necessary, just an open mind :)
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Contemporary Protestant on July 19, 2014, 07:50:08 PM
Dunkensteele, you're from vatican city? or italy, i didn't quite understand what you meant
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Hakurei Reimu on July 19, 2014, 08:05:00 PM
I am not your brother. Nor your sister.

You have about as much to teach us about catholicism as that moron Eve did.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 19, 2014, 08:20:54 PM
Dunkensteele, you're from vatican city? or italy, i didn't quite understand what you meant
Lol

well it's good to see that there is a Protestant or more at this site. I was hoping for that :)
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: stromboli on July 19, 2014, 08:36:16 PM
We don't have any "misconceptions" about an institution that has a centuries' long history of homophobia, misogyny, pederasty and is responsible for the birth of millions of unwanted children by condemning birth control and the spread of Aids by condemning the use of condoms. Or the genocidal treatment of native populations, torture and murder of people they didn't like or just plain blind ignorance on everything else.

You invited yourself here, you can invite yourself to leave.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 20, 2014, 12:59:34 AM
I hope you weren't offended by the Catholic flag or coat of arms.

If someone is passionate about gay rights then they should waive the rainbow flag.  There is nothing wrong with expressing what you r passionate about!

If something is important to you speak up.

I admire those who stand up for what they believe is right even if it means loss of friends and reputation or martyrdom.

If a communist wanted to come here with a hammer and sickle flag or a fascist wanted to have a swastika avatar, I see nothing wrong with it as long as the intent is not just to irritate or Provoke people.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on July 20, 2014, 01:13:33 AM
I would be offended by the Nazi flag and not about to apologize for that. I DO see many things wrong with it. Just because your passionate about something doesn't by default make it all better just like the catholic church. You can believe it all you like, but no amount of prayer and faith can wash the stink off Catholicism.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: DunkleSeele on July 20, 2014, 01:47:54 AM
Dunkensteele, you're from vatican city? or italy, i didn't quite understand what you meant
Born and raised in Italy, I've been living in another country for the last 20+ years.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Poison Tree on July 20, 2014, 02:00:07 AM
Not sure. I'm also not sure why God didn't warn King David to not commit adultery and murder of his right hand man which caused him and his whole family and his whole kingdom to suffer greatly.
Since you brought it up, why--according to the bible--was god so willing to kill David's baby (and babies in general) yet--according to your church--so pissed at the concept of using condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS? On a related note, how can you decry picking and choosing among protestants while picking and choosing among catholic doctrine yourself--such as your expressed views on contraceptives and clerical celibacy--?
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: CatholicCrusader on July 20, 2014, 02:51:21 AM
Since you brought it up, why--according to the bible--was god so willing to kill David's baby (and babies in general) yet--according to your church--so pissed at the concept of using condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS? On a related note, how can you decry picking and choosing among protestants while picking and choosing among catholic doctrine yourself--such as your expressed views on contraceptives and clerical celibacy--?
not all of my personal beliefs are in line with the church nor do I always understand why the Church teaches what it does.  I also have doubts and feelings of rebellion against God and the Bible and the church.

 My issue is more with those who are constantly saying the Catholic Church is unbiblical.

 I personally believe that any Catholic priest that has raped or sotomized child should be brought before a firing squad and executed.  However my personal beliefs and the Church's teachings are different.  Throughout the Bible a barren womb was considered a curse and a fertile womb was considered a blessing.   There is no biblical support for ever making a womb barren.   With more children there are more helping hands.

I do not understand why God did alot of what he did in the Old Testament. 

I do have my own personal views on abortion where in many cases I personally see abortion as the lesser of two evils. Yet I still consider it ussually an act of homicide. However I am a sinner and just because I don't understand something I don't declare that I am right and the church is wrong.

Most Catholics I know have struggled or continue to struggle very much with the views and decisions of the church Magisterium.   I do not consider myself a good Catholic.  I have much knowledge of apologetics but that doesn't mean I don't blaspheme or doubt my faith.  In fact in these last two months my faith has suffered more than it has in the last 7 years.

But either way I strongly believe that the Catholic Church will endure forever.

Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Solitary on July 20, 2014, 11:58:44 AM
Why do I think you are not going to last for long at this forum again? You're not fooling me with who you are phatt head. Solitary
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: DunkleSeele on July 20, 2014, 12:04:17 PM
[mod]
To everyone: let's not get paranoid and accuse every new member to be another PhattMatt's sockpuppet.

This is just a general warning, next time stricter measures may be taken.[/mod]
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: stromboli on July 27, 2014, 01:07:33 AM
Don't know that we've seen the last of Catholic Crusader, but I have to say in the aftermath that he is a perfect example of what keeps religion going. Everything that he put on here amounted to being right out Catholic liturgy from the start. He had a fixed and firm belief in the bible and did not question the validity of it all.

It is interesting in comparison to the thread I posted about atheists being smarter
http://atheistforums.com/index.php?topic=5821.0

to wit,
Quote
intelligence is defined as “the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience." This excludes other forms of intelligence, like creative and emotional intelligence.

Theists seem to be not necessarily less intelligent but more caught up in the emotional aspects of belief, not applying critical thinking or looking at objectively or in the abstract; but buying emotionally into the concept without questioning it. When confronted with hard evidence that the church was in fact a very damaged and corrupt institution, he made-at least to this point- no valiant attempt to defend it.

But after all that, I think he is still a true believer and will remain one.

Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: PickelledEggs on July 27, 2014, 02:40:06 AM
Oh, and I'm NOT your "Brother in Crust".
If you like pizza, I am your brother in crust. Just don't eat my slices.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: SGOS on July 27, 2014, 03:33:41 AM
Theists seem to be not necessarily less intelligent but more caught up in the emotional aspects of belief, not applying critical thinking or looking at objectively or in the abstract; but buying emotionally into the concept without questioning it.
Add to that a high degree of mule like stubbornness against admitting their beliefs have no basis in reality.  Actually, mules are not as stubborn.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Mr.Obvious on July 27, 2014, 03:35:42 AM
Well I used to be a catholic. But hey, perhaps many of the things I think the church teaches are wrong. Maybe I've got some of their stances wrong.
Not kidding; I wasn't the most biblically-literate catholic and the idea of a pope came across as a bad idea way before I lost my faith. So I didn't listen to him very much. So entirely possible that my information about the church and her stances is lacking. (Likewise there is bound to be a hole in my knowledge regarding Budhism, Protestantism, Mormonism, Islam, Hinduïsm, Janism, ...)

But none of that matters to me.

What matters to me is if there is anything to back up the claims of the Roman Catholic Church (or any other religion). Anything at all to show there is any truth behind what they say.

And there isn't.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: stromboli on July 27, 2014, 10:00:16 AM
Well I used to be a catholic. But hey, perhaps many of the things I think the church teaches are wrong. Maybe I've got some of their stances wrong.
Not kidding; I wasn't the most biblically-literate catholic and the idea of a pope came across as a bad idea way before I lost my faith. So I didn't listen to him very much. So entirely possible that my information about the church and her stances is lacking. (Likewise there is bound to be a hole in my knowledge regarding Budhism, Protestantism, Mormonism, Islam, Hinduïsm, Janism, ...)

But none of that matters to me.

What matters to me is if there is anything to back up the claims of the Roman Catholic Church (or any other religion). Anything at all to show there is any truth behind what they say.

And there isn't.

Yes, and that is what I'm talking about. You have taken an objective, critical thinking stance rather than buying in on an emotional basis.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Berati on July 28, 2014, 07:11:10 PM
My issue is more with those who are constantly saying the Catholic Church is unbiblical.
I'm an ex catholic. It's not that the church is unbiblical, it is immoral by just about any definition.

I can't even think of any other organization that has committed the number of atrocities carried out by the catholic church over so many centuries. From torture (the inquisition went on for over 700 years), to burning thousands of women to death, to selling indulgences, to stealing children from their mothers (and incarcerating the mothers) to laundering Nazi money, to child rape and hiding of said rape, to telling poor and overpopulated nations that birth control is evil...

Any secular organization with a crime record like this would have been disbanded at the very least. Call it a religion and everyone looks the other way.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Mike Cl on September 07, 2014, 05:13:14 PM
Hello, Joseph--and I can say that you are my human brother, but not in "Christ".  BTW, did you not realize that that is a title and not a name?  There are in fact thousands of "Christs" out there.  I think you meant to refer to Jesus--but the Jesus you were most likely referring to is a myth--ahistorical--made up--not real.  You may as well put your faith in the tooth fairy or the easter bunny; both are just as real as your Jesus. 

You said:  not all of my personal beliefs are in line with the church nor do I always understand why the Church teaches what it does.  I also have doubts and feelings of rebellion against God and the Bible and the church.

Me--Doubts are good.  With so much to doubt about any organized religion, much less one with the history of the Catholic Church.  Start by investigating the history or your church (use neutral sources and not the official sources for such research).  Your doubts will only increase.

You said: My issue is more with those who are constantly saying the Catholic Church is unbiblical.
Me--To which bible are you referring?  There are literally thousands of them and they are all different.  Actually, all churches are unbiblical, since none of they follow the bible totally.  Not possible.


You said:  I do not understand why God did alot of what he did in the Old Testament. 
Me--Yes, hard to fathom.  Keep researching that subject.

I do have my own personal views on abortion where in many cases I personally see abortion as the lesser of two evils. Yet I still consider it ussually an act of homicide. However I am a sinner and just because I don't understand something I don't declare that I am right and the church is wrong.

Most Catholics I know have struggled or continue to struggle very much with the views and decisions of the church Magisterium.   I do not consider myself a good Catholic.  I have much knowledge of apologetics but that doesn't mean I don't blaspheme or doubt my faith.  In fact in these last two months my faith has suffered more than it has in the last 7 years.

You said:  But either way I strongly believe that the Catholic Church will endure forever.
Me--Forever is a long time.  It has lasted 2,000 years, more or less.  But if human society can continue to to use reason and logic to solve problems, then the Catholic church will not endure.  The history of atheism is relatively short--when it has 2000 years under its belt, I am sure churches will be a history that is read and chuckled at.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: the_antithesis on September 07, 2014, 06:25:29 PM
Hello, Joseph--and I can say that you are my human brother, but not in "Christ".  BTW, did you not realize that that is a title and not a name?  There are in fact thousands of "Christs" out there.  I think you meant to refer to Jesus--but the Jesus you were most likely referring to is a myth--ahistorical--made up--not real.  You may as well put your faith in the tooth fairy or the easter bunny; both are just as real as your Jesus. 

You said:  not all of my personal beliefs are in line with the church nor do I always understand why the Church teaches what it does.  I also have doubts and feelings of rebellion against God and the Bible and the church.

Me--Doubts are good.  With so much to doubt about any organized religion, much less one with the history of the Catholic Church.  Start by investigating the history or your church (use neutral sources and not the official sources for such research).  Your doubts will only increase.

You said: My issue is more with those who are constantly saying the Catholic Church is unbiblical.
Me--To which bible are you referring?  There are literally thousands of them and they are all different.  Actually, all churches are unbiblical, since none of they follow the bible totally.  Not possible.


You said:  I do not understand why God did alot of what he did in the Old Testament. 
Me--Yes, hard to fathom.  Keep researching that subject.

I do have my own personal views on abortion where in many cases I personally see abortion as the lesser of two evils. Yet I still consider it ussually an act of homicide. However I am a sinner and just because I don't understand something I don't declare that I am right and the church is wrong.

Most Catholics I know have struggled or continue to struggle very much with the views and decisions of the church Magisterium.   I do not consider myself a good Catholic.  I have much knowledge of apologetics but that doesn't mean I don't blaspheme or doubt my faith.  In fact in these last two months my faith has suffered more than it has in the last 7 years.

You said:  But either way I strongly believe that the Catholic Church will endure forever.
Me--Forever is a long time.  It has lasted 2,000 years, more or less.  But if human society can continue to to use reason and logic to solve problems, then the Catholic church will not endure.  The history of atheism is relatively short--when it has 2000 years under its belt, I am sure churches will be a history that is read and chuckled at.

Who are you talking to?
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Mike Cl on September 07, 2014, 07:19:43 PM
The Catholic Crusader identified himself as 'Joseph'--so I was addressing him.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: the_antithesis on September 07, 2014, 07:25:06 PM
The Catholic Crusader identified himself as 'Joseph'--so I was addressing him.

That guy is no longer here.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Mike Cl on September 07, 2014, 08:02:54 PM
Ah, yes--I guess it would be good for me to read dates. :))  So, the post was posted to the ether, I guess.  And it will help to meet my 10 post requirement. :)
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Munch on September 10, 2014, 06:38:18 AM
I think sometimes having someone on debate threads who is still devoutly theist can, at least, make for some interesting debates. Obviously a lot of us here already have strong understanding of religion, many being ex-<insert faith here>, so its not like anyone who is devout theist can teach anyone here anything.

But thinking of it kind of like an experiment in human sociology and study, you still need someone who is under such beliefs to recognize the problems it presents, so up until they really push there theistic belief on people, its well enough to pop some questions to them.
Title: Re: Peace be with you!
Post by: Mike Cl on September 10, 2014, 08:55:53 AM
I think sometimes having someone on debate threads who is still devoutly theist can, at least, make for some interesting debates. Obviously a lot of us here already have strong understanding of religion, many being ex-<insert faith here>, so its not like anyone who is devout theist can teach anyone here anything.

But thinking of it kind of like an experiment in human sociology and study, you still need someone who is under such beliefs to recognize the problems it presents, so up until they really push there theistic belief on people, its well enough to pop some questions to them.
I agree with that. I have strong anti-religious beliefs based on what I view as facts.  But it is good for my beliefs and facts to be tested with those with different facts.  Rather than arguments about subjects, I'd rather participate in a discussion.  I have found that I cannot change anybody--that change has to come from within the other person.  But by having a reasonable discussion about something, at least the other has been exposed to my way of thinking in a way that at least has a chance of heard and considered.